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CAN BANKRUPTCY RUIN SOMEONE’S FINANCIAL FUTURE?
That notion is absolutely incorrect; in many cases, I can look at a credit report and tell you within 10 seconds how long someone has been struggling. We offer a two-year credit report and it shows a projected increase in credit score over the course of the next year-and-a-half. When people come in with a credit score of less than 500 and they’ve been working, I can tell they’ve been struggling a long time. The benefit of filing is that it stops the freefall and helps people think things through and make some strategic financial decisions that will affect them for the rest of their lives and those of their children as well.
I talk to people everyday who are in their mid to late 50s about strategic financial planning. The conversation that we have is not really so much about today, it’s about where they will be 15 or 20 years from now and whether it makes sense to surrender the house and look at other options. My intake sessions are much more involved than just a quick overview and telling them to fill out a stack of paper. We work through the tough issues.
I like to work from checklists to the point that I have a dedicated website “ezchecklist.com.” You can go to the website and find a list of all the information and documents that I need to evaluate your situation and prepare your bankruptcy filing. The “ezcheckIist” is so much easier that filling out a 50 page questionnaire. After we assemble all of your information, you decide whether you can repay the debt, whether you modify the debt or do you surrender the collateral and then re-characterize the debt as a general unsecured debt which can then be discharged?
Does Bankruptcy Permanently Hurt My Credit?
No. In most cases just the opposite is true. Not paying your bills will allow your credit score to continue to decline; by filing bankruptcy, you can establish a bottom or a basement – the threshold level from which you will not sink any further, and that’s very important because you can springboard from that. Chapter 7 can be a very powerful tool if it’s done properly and if you do your due diligence so that you know there aren’t any problems that will interfere with your case. Chapter 7 can snap things around in a hurry. I remember one guy who came in over the course of two or three months; we were on the phone constantly and finally I just told him to bring his file in and he brought in two boxes, which he literally threw on my lobby floor. I was caught up with a client, so I gave him a $5 Tim Horton card and told him to get a cup of coffee with his wife and come back in about half an hour”.
By the time he got back, I’d gone through the boxes, scanned what I needed and had everything ready to roll for him; he just sat there, amazed. I had been able to scan the documents I needed and get everything in order. I accept as part of my role that many people will transfer their anger towards their attorney; they’re upset with themselves but they transfer the anger to me and this happened with this gentleman. He came in a month after his discharge to tell me that he had gotten a 5 percent interest auto loan. People just don’t understand the power of this amazing law.
How Public Will My Bankruptcy Be In Michigan?
The only people who will know that you file bankruptcy are you, me and your creditors, as well as the people you tell. I remember when local credit bureaus and local newspapers used to publish a list of people who filed bankruptcy. Those days are over; the only way people can find out about your bankruptcy is if they have access to PACER, which is where all federal lawsuit and bankruptcy documents are posted according to federal law, so unless you have an account, you cannot access PACER.
The public policy consideration regarding Bankruptcy law is for full and complete transparency. So when you file your Bankruptcy. The objective is that the trustee, the judge and your creditors can look at your schedules and your statements and understand exactly where you are with respect to all of your assets, liabilities and debts, as well as all of your continuing obligations and significant historical facts like lawsuits, garnishments, any businesses that you’ve owned.
For more information on Bankruptcy and Financial Future, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling Attorney Mike Shovan at (989) 465-8144 today.